It was dubbed as the ‘Batttle of the Mind’ by some as both teams pitching on each other towards the final quarter.

Running short of the time for the Westports Malaysia Dragons to shave the home team’s lead, Saigon Heat bombarded the Dragons for their ninth win, closing nearer to the final playoffs ticket.

Malaysia Dragons missed their chance in this match up, losing the game to Saigon Heat by 14 points, 102-88.

There was no clear winner right to the final quarter of the game and Dragons came as close as four points in the third quarter 68-64 in a 6-0 scoring run that kept the team’s hope alive.

Placing bets on Jawhar Purdy and Bryan Davis in the final quarter, both were eventually fouled out from the game in the early part of the final quarter.

Despite having Heat’s Esho fouled out, the Dragons were struggling to plug the bleed, Heat took the advantage to bank 33 points in the last period alone, making a strong lead to the finish.

Dragons’ Joshua Munzon scored 25 points and 8 rebounds while Chris Eversley bagged 23 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals.

Akeem Scott took the lead for Saigon Heat with 29 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists and the early lead by the home team led by Maxie Esho with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists.

The Dragons initially began the game with a good start, running off the sluggish buzzer start by Heat scoring 5-0 in the run by Eversley and Davis. Heat’s Maxie Esho turned the tide around to set the rhythm and he single-handedly bagged 10 points in the quarter alone.

Heat closes the first quarter with a slight advantage over the Dragons by four points, 26-22.

Dragons were caught by surprise as Michael Williams sank two successive three pointers in the early second quarter, but it was the Heat’s raining baskets in threes that kept the Dragons at the bay.

The Dragons fell further to a double-digit deficit midway to the quarter but thanks to Davis and Eversley’s run for the money by 7 points, the Malaysian team kept up with the Heat at the end of the half time, 48-41 with the last three-pointer jump shot by Joshua Munzon.

Saigon Heat continued to dominate in the third quarter and taking the lead down the court even without Maxie Esho who was placed to the bench in the first two minutes when he booked his fourth foul.

Absence of Esho gave an opportunity for Akeem Scott and Moses Morgan to control the perimeter over the Dragons, but eventually the presence of the bigs from the Malaysian team kept the Heat on their toes in the third quarter.

The Dragons played a much better third quarter despite foul troubles and scored 23 points compared to the Heat at 21 points, ending the period at 69-64.

Westports Malaysia Dragons will meet CLS Knights Surabaya on March 14th at 4.00PM, GOR CLS Kertajaya Surabaya, Indonesia.